Every year, the arrival of autumn signals the migration of snowbirds back to Florida’s welcoming climate. If you’re returning to Florida from your summer home, it’s important to literally and metaphorically dust the cobwebs off your abode. Here are a few clean-up and tune-up tips to keep you comfortable in your home throughout the winter and spring seasons.
TURN ON UTILITIES BEFOREHAND
Nothing is more frustrating than waiting days if not weeks for utility companies to reactivate your accounts. Have your electricity, cable TV and Internet service switched on a week or so before you arrive. If you’ve suspended mail delivery, tell the post office that you’ll be back in town.
WASH EVERY LINEN IN THE HOUSE
Even if you take the time to store textiles in vacuum bags, they’ll still probably smell slightly musty when you go to use them. It’s good practice to wash sheets and blankets after months of inactivity. If nothing else, you’ll ensure that bed bugs aren’t an issue.
MOP, SWEEP AND DUST THE INTERIOR
A house that hasn’t been occupied in months should receive a deep cleaning to improve indoor air quality. If the weather allows, try to air out the house with open windows for a few days. Organic, citrus-scented cleaners will go a long way towards eliminating bad smells.
CALL IN A PEST CONTROL EXPERT
There’s no telling what kinds of critters took up residence in your Florida dwelling while you were away for the summer. Scheduling a pest inspection will guarantee that nuisance animals and insects haven’t harmed your property. Many pest control experts will perform a home inspection for free.
HAVE THE HVAC SYSTEM TUNED UP
The central air infrastructure found in the average Florida home must be meticulously maintained to function properly. Call in a seasoned HVAC technician to check for loose electrical connections, dirty ducts and clogged filters. A visit from an HVAC professional can pay for itself in reduced utility bills.
HIRE A PLUMBER TO INSPECT THE PIPES
The last few months of the year is the perfect time to diagnose the health of your home’s plumbing. A qualified plumber can perform maintenance, such as testing and certifying your backflow prevention device, and suggest ways to improve system performance. Pay special attention to the insulation and have it replaced if necessary.
REPAIR EXTERIOR WEATHERSTRIPPING
Florida’s infamous summer heat and humidity will do a number on any home’s exterior within a short time frame. The caulking around windows and doors is particularly fragile and requires replacement regularly. Reapplying caulk is easy and can save you a ton of money on electricity bills.
CLEAN OUT GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
Making sure that rainwater can quickly drain away from a home is extremely important if you value your property. Clearing debris out of runoff troughs and pipes will go a long way towards preventing water damage. Take a look at gutter and downspout seams and patch cracks if necessary.
CHECK OUT YOUR SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Today’s homes have never been safer thanks to a slew of modern alarms and sensors. Make sure that the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are fully charged. While you’re at it, confirm that any security alarms and cameras are fully functional.
Bottom line: While many home upkeep tasks are quite simple, do not attempt any HVAC repairs on your own. Hi-Tech Plumbing and Air of West Palm Beach has over 55 years of combined experience in troubleshooting heating and cooling issues. Give them a call at (561) 220-3107 if your heating and cooling system needs a little TLC.